The Dow finished up lower today but still above the 18000 mark. For the month of February however, stocks overall rose by 5.00% in February, recovering much of the losses from January. The Dow closed today at 18,132.70 while the S&P 500 moved -6.24 to 2104.50. The NASDAQ has been flirtinggood month for dow oil up with the 5000 mark yet today closed -24.36 lower at 4963.53.The second revision of Q4 GDP was released today as well showing a slight downward revision at 2.2 percent of growth for the final quarter of 2014.

 The 30 year fixed rate mortgage has been on a steady incline since the first week of the month according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey. The 30 year fixed rate mortgage rose from 3.76% to 3.80% week over week and the 15 year note rose two basis points from 3.05% to 3.07%. The 1-Yr ARM fell by a bp to 2.44%. Long term rates for real estate investors are typically 0.25% higher compared to those for an owner-occupied property.

On the economic front beyond the Q4 GDP revision, pending home sales for January brought a bit of a surprise. For the month, pending sales, sales with contracts not yet closed, rose by 1.7 percent from the previous month, continuing a five month string of gains. The pace was the fastest in almost 18 months. It seems January wasn’t so cold after all.

At the beginning of March, there will be a flurry of economic reports released with none more important than the unemployment rate and non-farm payroll count. Investors are anticipating a slight drop in the unemployment rate along with 230,000 new jobs, the same expectation for January yet January produced 267,000 new jobs, 37,000 more than expected. Oil prices have also recovered and appear to have settled in a less volatile range with Brent crude topping $61 per barrel. Many are thinking the oil slide has stopped and will settle near the current range. For February, oil had its best month since 2009 according to an article published on cnbc.com.